12-148-2… that’s the line that Engram laid on the Cowboys in two
games last season, and I expect a repeat in Week 1 this year. Engram
is far and away the most talented pass receiver on the Giants with
the departure of OBJ. Sterling
Shepard is a complementary player coming off a broken thumb,
and Golden Tate
is suspended, so I look for Engram to be the focal point of the
passing game, especially this week against the Cowboys. After an
inconsistent, injury riddled first half last season, Engram put
up 65+ yards in the final five games of the season. A top-3 start
at the position this week, Engram was an easy pick in this slot.
Under wraps since joining the Browns via a mega trade this spring,
Beckham Jr. is going to get the ball early and often this week against
Tennessee. Looking to set the tone early, and silence the “haters”,
I could actually envision the Browns starting the game with a bomb
to Beckham down the sideline. This offense is oozing with swagger,
and I expect them to be the aggressor on offense when given the
opportunities. Cleveland simply has too many threats to dedicate
too much attention to Beckham so he should have plenty of chances
to catch the ball in space as well. With a 10-target floor this
week, OBJ is an easy WR1 pick in all formats.
I said earlier in this column that all signs point to this game
being a high scoring shootout, so I want as much stock in Godwin
as I can get. He’s been rocketing up in ADP all summer and figures
to be in the weekly WR2 conversation in this new Bruce Arians offense.
The Tampa defense stinks, and they have no reliable run game either.
San Fran can struggle in the secondary without pressure from their
front, and Godwin should see plenty of single coverage in the game.
100 yards and a score is in the realm of possibility, putting Godwin
in the high end WR2 category for the season’s opening week.
Baring a coaching miracle by Jay Gruden, this could be one of the
most difficult offenses to watch this season. A journeyman or raw
rookie is going to be throwing the ball, and it’s anyone’s guess
who’s going to be catching it. Jordan Reed is in the concussion
protocol and is ind danger to miss Week 1. With Josh
Doctson cut, the top receivers are going to be unproven Trey
Quinn who had 9 receptions in his rookie year, and Paul Richardson
who frankly doesn’t scare anyone. On the road with a bad offensive
line and the aggressive front seven of the Eagles waiting to pounce,
there might not even be a Washington offensive player I would consider
Consistently a top tier yardage and reception producer when healthy,
Allen has missed the last several weeks of preseason work due to
an ankle injury. Normally when a vet misses some offseason work
it’s not a big deal, but Allen has a history with lower leg injuries
losing the better parts of two seasons in 2015 and 2016. At this
point in his career he relies on timing and route running and these
could be slow to develop because of the missed work on the field.
The Colts defense is no longer a punchline, so I wouldn't be surprised
to see the Charger offense struggle some out of the gate making
it difficult for Allen to produce to his draft slot. .
Missing the better part of the last few weeks of the
preseason with a calf injury, Anderson enters Week 1 with a brutal
matchup against budding shutdown corner Tre'Davious White. In
his last three games against the Bills Anderson has been held
under 80 yards (but he has managed to find the endzone twice.)
With that said, I do think Anderson and Darnold will make some
sweet music this year, much like the tail end of 2018, but the
missed time and Buffalo secondary puts Anderson closer to low-end
WR3 territory than the WR2 I think he can be most weeks.